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Archive for July 6th, 2009

Day 210 – 6th July 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on July 6, 2009

Monday – Yellowstone NP, Wyoming

I woke up because some wanker opened his car door with his alarm set, idiots, oh well, might as well get up now then! I set about packing up, I did not have any breakfast food as it turns out, so I gave that a miss. I went back up to the entrance area and tried again to do some emails, I did manage to get some in and send a few, but once again, a crap network, even after they rebooted the server.

One of the guys at the Vstrom gathering, with the weird name of Cavehamster sent me an email and mentioned that there was a dam up here called the Buffalo Bill Dam and is worth a visit. I have seen dams before, but if it is on the way, well why not. First up though I went and bought some snack bars etc for breakfasts and I also found a bike shop. I have still got concerns with my chain oiler, and until I get it sorted I needed some more chain lube, so I bought a can. They also told me where to find this dam, it was about 4 miles west of town so off I go through the canyon, then through some tunnels until I get to the dam itself, which had a bit of a log jam.

Well, he was right, it was an interesting place alright, I managed to arrive just as a video had started on the construction, back in 1905. They had to work during the winter, because during spring and summer there was too much water coming down. They went through 3 different companies but finally built the tallest dam in the world, an impressive achievement. They increased the height a while back which is evident by the different colour concrete, that is the visitor centre behind.

A couple of the plug exhibits.

Now I know about Buffalo Bill, I had no idea his last name was Cody and they named a town after him.

Anyway, after this short detour I headed back to town for the turnoff north to a scenic highway. I noticed this tree that had grown up in the shade of a rock, but came out triumphant.

I headed up the scenic road and eventually came to a scenic lookout, the road was nice and bendy just the way I like it.

This is where I noticed an oil leak on the wrong side of the bike, near the preload adjustor but dripping from above, it looks like oil from my chain oiler reservoir!!

I pulled the seat off and found a lot of oil had travelled up the breather pipe as I had turned the bottle too far yesterday, so I re adjusted it and cleaned up the mess. Back to the view which was spectacular, with even some very tame chipmunks sitting up for photos.

I met a few other bikers and we chatted for a while, this is Ryan and Sandy on the FJR1300, hi there, stay safe 🙂

And then also there was Nicholas on a BMW and Jeremy on the Bandit, hi there, rubber side down 🙂

I headed off again and the road started to get amongst the mountains, with lots of twisties, great stuff.

The road was called the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway in memory of the Indians who escaped and led the US troops on a merry chase back then.

Of course it started to rain and become real cold, as I was getting higher I knew the cold was coming but the rain I could really do without, after adding some more gear I arrived in Cook City, just before Yellowstone where I fuelled up and had a hot snack.

From here on in I hit road works and it was a tad muddy as well, but the view made up for it 🙂

I entered Yellowstone National Park boundary and immediately knew I was in bear country!

My annual pass got me through the gate and I stopped up the road to look at the map to decide where to stop for a camp. I had originally dialled in a place called Tower Junction, which seemed to be reasonably central, so I continued to go there, I could change my mind if that did not work. It did not take long to run into a herd of Bison, cars just seem to pull over anywhere as I learnt to understand.

I kept on going past a number of other camp sites, but the full sign was up, this did not look good. It was a fair hike into where I was going and all at a slow speed by speed limits, but even slower due to the rubber necking of the drivers in front. I eventually found a campsite at the Tower Fall area, not the best, but at 4.30pm I was not going any further to look. It was also near the exit I was planning on using when I left in a few days time.

I needed to find out some info so I decided to ride to Mammoth Springs, west of where I was and a short distance away, but I ended up taking the wrong road and went south to Canyon. Never mind, they had a visitors centre and the ranger explained that I would need to put all my food in the provided bear proof boxes.

After that I headed back and proceeded to wire up my heated clothing harness on the bike. I had a visit from the kids at the next site and they invited me over for a Fahita(far heater), which I had no idea about, but I accepted and met the two families at the next site. Fahitas are rolled flat bread filled with meat and rice, vegies etc, very nice and thanks for the tucker 🙂 This is, sitting Michelle, Wendy, Brian and Jay, well met 🙂

They offered me a beer which of course I accepted, but only the one while watching Wendy and Brian’s tear away kids having fun 🙂

They all headed off for a wildlife tour, I decided not to as I needed to finish what I had started and riding late evening is not my cup of tea, especially with things that eat you around 🙂 This is what is stuck to each table, it made me a bit nervous as I had food stashed everywhere on my bike!

After finishing the harness, I went down to the camp site entrance, here was a site where some of the local rangers live, they are called ‘hosts’ and are there to maintain the camping area, but also to help out where needed. I chatted with them for a while and was assured no bears would be coming through the area, they are wary of humans. Also, the strict food instructions are to deter bears from learning that camp sites contain easy food. A bit like back home, where it is not advisable to clean fish on boat ramps, because crocodiles then know where food is, which is not a good thing when launching a boat and are up to your waist in water:)

I read all the newsletters and other stuff I was given at the entrance, but I had also been told by Brian, from next door, he would show me a few spots to not miss as he had been here before. I had an early night because as soon as the sun went down it got very cold and next day would no doubt be a busy one.

Day 171 miles and 275 km
Trip – 23,610 miles and 37,997 km


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Posted in Around The World, USA Leg | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

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